Newest Review: ... other city centre Chester is crammed full of thriving shops. But its not the contents of the shops that draws the tourists it's the buil... more
Chester; a city of many sides
Chester in General
Member Name: jennikitten
Chester in General
Advantages: Different things to do, nice historical feel
Disadvantages: Not as exciting as it first appears!
Chester is a lovely city located in the north west of England, nestled between Manchester and North Wales. It does seem more like an historic town than a city, but it has a cathedral so there you go.
I have visited Chester several times over the years, and it's always nice to come back to. In terms of sightseeing, it's pretty good for its Roman roots and history; the priest at the cathedral told me last time that the Romans settled there for a good time and never went across to Ireland as it was assumed they would do.
There are lots of old buildings which I'm guessing date back to the Victorian/Edwardian eras - some have been converted or half converted into shops, others have been war struck, but it still gives an air of olde world times, despite the typical high street shops that can be found there.
There are the remains on a Roman ampitheatre pretty close to the city centre; it's not very exciting as it is literally a hole in the ground but they are continuing excavation work on it and may dig up some interesting stuff. It's also quite weird to have a roundabout next to it and tall buildings, but that's Chester for you.
Chester cathedral is a very tourist-y thing to see. It's not cheap, but you can get a handheld device that speaks to you via earphones to tell you about all the different bits of the cathedral, and there are gorgeous stainglass windows and remnants of various religious things to look at. It also has a gift shop with a wide variety of goods including recipe books, Catholic crosses and rosaries, postcards and information about Chester and the cathedral itself.
Chester is fun just to wander around, but if it's a nice day the boat ride is always fun. It costs a few pounds but you might be lucky and get a random discount like we did. The trip takes you up and down the river, and whilst it's not riveting, it is interesting. There is also a talk pointing out a few things, but generally it is quite relaxing. There are also one or two ice cream/fast food style places when you get on and off which are good. Alternatively you can relax by the river for free and watch the rowers and ducks and mad people in boats and such.
Overall, Chester is a nice relaxing place to visit whatever you choose to do.
Summary: Good for a relaxing or touristy visit